Coastal Storms and Hurricanes
General Hurricane Information
Hurricanes are cyclones over water while tornadoes are cyclones over land.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. September is the highest probability month of the season. There is an average of 10 named storms per season according to the National Hurricane Center. A storm gets named as it reaches tropical storm status. Residents and visitors to the area should learn the elevation of where they are in relation to sea level and the storm surge history of the area. Storm surge is a dome-like rise in the ocean level associated with the hurricane.
Meteorologists classify hurricanes by categories of 1-5 using a scale that measures the wind and speed of the storm. A Tropical Depression has a highest wind speed of 38 miles per hour (33 knots), with some rotary circulation and one or more closed isobars. A Tropical Storm has distinct rotary circulation with wind speeds of 39- 73 miles per hour (34-63 knots), closed isobars and a pressure of 14.0 pounds per square foot. A Hurricane has strong and very pronounced rotary circulation, closed isobars, a pressure of 17 or more pounds per square foot and winds of 74 miles per hour (64 knots) and higher. The devastating class 5 hurricane exceeds wind speed of 156 miles per hour.